The Summer Of 2005
The Summer Of 2005
It was a warm sunny day in June, and we were a total of eight kids playing hide and seek on the lawn. The school was finally closed for the summer! All of us cousins had packed our bags for our ancestral home in the village where my grandmother lived. It was almost like a ritual to visit granny in the summer, and we’d all look forward to it throughout the year.
Looking back, I think granny waited for it the most; this was probably the most happening time of her year. The big empty house wouldn’t be so empty, and even though she would get mad at us for creating a ruckus, I believe she secretly enjoyed it.
“Children, come inside, I’ve cut some Mangoes for you” we would hear her softly call us from the terrace. Summer and mangoes really are the perfect combination, especially if someone cuts it for you so lovingly. Granny would order boxes of mangoes from the fields for us and for whatever reason; they’d taste a thousand times better than the ones we got in the city. All of us would creep out from our hiding places within seconds and run inside for the mangoes. “But first, wash your hands” she would always say. We would all sit together in the big old room, and she’d make sure everyone got equal parts of the mangoes. Granny loved living in the village. I think it made her retain her independence. She would beam from happiness when we’d say that her mangoes are the best ones we’ve ever eaten. She was so proud of herself for getting us the best on her own. Granny would take this mango eating moment to tell us mythological stories. She had a whole treasure of stories, and we loved them! She used to tell this story about why mangoes were called the king of fruits, and it made us so happy that we would make her repeat it every day!
After we had all eaten the mangoes, granny would make us all change into clean clothes since we’d spill the entire mango on our clothes. She always insisted that we wear clean clothes at all times, her own sarees were always sparkling white at any time of the day; I wonder how now?
In the evening, she’d make us all sit down and finish our holiday homework. She couldn’t read or write, but she still made sure we sat down and read our books. She, on the other hand, would have her rosemary beads in her hands and would be lean in her chants. Granny didn’t have much money, but she’d give us some change to buy something from the shops. She’d take us to the village market, and after looking at every single shop in the market, we’d all end up buying the same thing!
When it was time to sleep, all of us slept on the terrace. There were a bunch of cots lined up together and all of us would sleep together. Sleeping on the terrace was one of my favorite things to do, it seemed so impossible to do in the city that it made me love the village life all the more.
Throughout my childhood, I wondered why we didn’t live in the village and why city life was thought of as better than this life. My days from the village are a reminder to me that money can never buy happiness and that time spent with loved ones is the most precious treasure we own.